The importance of maximising data transfer and website optimisation

By Oliver
11th November 2013 at 09:02

AWD has been operating now for 14 years. That's a long time in the web. It's a fairly long time for any modern business, but especially the web. Back when AWD first launched, there was no Facebook or Twitter. Google was less than a year old as an incorporated company, and still churning away limited searches from the garage of Susan Wojcicki, a friend of the Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page. Yes, it was early days for the web.

Even connecting to the web was comparatively archaic, with slow dial-up connections and constant hangs. Loading and viewing even basic gif animations of cute cats could take hours. This brings us on to an important consideration - optimisation. It has always been essential for a web developer to really concentrate and enforce good optimisation on a site to minimise load times and ensure a seamless experience. After all, statistics show that just shy of half of all visitors to an eCommerce site will leave if a site takes longer than just 2 seconds to load – and with increasing Internet speeds, people’s expectations simply become more stringent.

An artist's impression of Google's first 'office' - Susan Wojocicki's garage...
An artist's impression of Google's first 'office' - Susan Wojocicki's garage...

With such a long-standing and established background in web design and development, Advanced Web Designs appreciates better than most the integral importance of reducing page-loading times, and with 14 years’ experience in managing and optimising websites for speed, without impairing aesthetics, we have got pretty darn good at it. With more and more people now owning or running blazing fast fibre-optic connections, it would almost now seem (superficially, of course) almost redundant to be so obsessed about page loading times, wouldn't it?

This is certainly a trap that we find many developers fall in to, especially more recent start-ups, whose experience with the web is, dare we say, almost naïve. Recently there has been a new paradigm shift in technology and web communication that has, quietly but quite substantially, revolutionised the way that we communicate and access information – mobile Internet.

By optimising what content is loaded and displayed, and at what resolution, data trasfer can be effectively managed across a range of devices
By optimising what content is loaded and displayed, and at what resolution, data trasfer can be effectively managed across a range of devices

Compared to fibre optics, mobile Internet is considerably slower. But much more importantly than this, many users of mobile devices also have limited data tariffs, which can be eaten up fairly quickly by large, poorly optimised websites.

After all, it's all very well and good to have a gloriously pretty little website, replete with flashy animations and beautifully intricate graphics – but if they take too long to load, the simple fact of the matter is that no one is going to see them. And a visitor to your site uses up a tenth of their monthly bandwidth viewing it, it's not hard to imagine that there might be some hard feelings or future avoidance.

At Advanced Web Designs, we regularly compress and optimise our sites for speed and data transfer, using various speed-testing tools to measure areas of high and low performance and developing and building on these areas, and our designs take advantage of responsive design principles to ensure that content is accessible to all in an elegant and streamlined fashion.

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